Fly On The Wall – E Lockhart

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This book seemed okay at first – the main character was slightly annoying but it was okay. But then…WTF? The main character is a student at a New York Art School and she is struggling to find her place. Her parents are divorcing, she’s being forced to move, her best friend is becoming distant, she is unable to understand boys (I mean, really, who does?) and she feels ordinary in a school full of people who are edgy and cool. One day Gretchen wishes she could be a fly on the wall of the boys locker room and the next day she wakes up and SHE IS A FLY ON THE WALL OF THE BOYS LOCKER ROOM. Literally.

The section of the book when she is a fly is just weird. There is far too much analysis of the boy’s “packages” for a start. And she kept referring to them as which was ridiculous. It just went on too long, it dragged and eventually I found myself just skimming over this bit.

As a fly Gretchen discovers that other people are just like her – insecure, have secrets, etc. It gives her new perspective and she finds confidence to be herself and learns to takes risks. She also realises that she may not have been that nice to her best friend, Katya. But did she really have to turn into a fly to realise all this?

There is a major suspension of disbelief needed. This is not a fantasy or sci-fi book, her fly experience is merely a facilitator for Gretchen to examine her life. There is no explanation as to how or why she becomes a fly for a week. Apparently an explanation is not needed because it’s a metaphor for her real transformation BUT STILL! Also, it’s not the most subtle of metaphors. She’s also studying Kafka’s Metamorphosis, coincidence?

It’s a short book but it took me ages to read it and it was all down to the middle section. When I got to that part I actually put the book down in disbelief. It just didn’t make sense. It does tackle the issue of sexism but it tackles it in a very teen drama kind of way.

I was going to say I wouldn’t really recommend this but it’s actually the kind of book you want other people to read so you can watch them as they read it and go “See, she’s a fly, how f**king weird is that?” If you like books about teens turning into flies to learn valuable life lessons then read this book.

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